How to Season a Traeger Grill
Though your new Traeger grill might look clean and ready to go, you still have to take it through extra preparation before throwing the stake on.
Seasoning and burning your grill is a crucial step that removes any dirt, bacteria, and oils it might have gathered during manufacturing and shipping.
The process will also create non-stick surfaces that are easier to grill on. It will further cure other surfaces of the grill, making it more resistant to tear and wear compared to a grill that never underwent the seasoning process.
How you season, your grill varies depending on whether it is a connected WiFire grill or a traditional non-connected unit.
ProTip: Ensure your grill is in a safe well-aerated place to avoid noxious fumes and smoke.
How to Season a Connected WiFire Grill
Connected WiFire grills hook up to your home network, letting you control some features through a smartphone. They also have a smarter controller that can automate several steps during the first burn.
- Pour some pellets into the auger tube to prime it.
- Plug the grill into a wall outlet and flip the power switch at the back of the grill on
- Add some fresh pellets to the hopper (preferably hardwood pellets)
- Press the power button on the controller to light up the controller screen
- Use the control dial to select Auger > Prime Auger and press the controller knob to select
- Wait until you hear pellets start to fall into the fire pot before selecting Done
- Select temperature by turning the selection dial to 350F (177C) and press the dial to select the temperature
- Close the lid and press the Ignite button to turn on the grill
- Wait until the temperature hits the target 350F and run the grill at that temperature for 29 minutes
- Increase the temperature to 450F (232C) (which can be done from the mobile app)
- Once the temperature hits 450F, keep it running for around 30 minutes
- Shut down the grill
You can shut down the grill by:
- Using the mobile app to shut it down
- Pressing the knob for at least three seconds on any Pro Series Traeger grill
- Pressing the controller’s power button for 3 seconds on Timberline, Silvertone, and Ironwood Traeger grill models
And that’s all you have to do for the basic first-time seasoning. There are some extra but optional steps. We will go through them after we look into how to season a non-connected Traeger pellet grill.
Seasoning a Non-Connected Traeger Grill
Here are the steps to follow if you bought the traditional non-connected Traeger grills
- Plug your grill in and turn it on using the switch located at the front of the control
- Add some hardwood pellets into the hopper.
- Open the grill’s lid and remove the grate, drip tray, and heat baffle
- Set your grill’s temperature to the highest level possible and wait up to five minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you start seeing pellets fall into the firepot
- Shutdown the grill by entering the Shutdown cycle and pressing the power switch to power it down
- Reassemble all the internal components (heat baffle, drip tray, and grate)
- Turn the grill on again and close the lid
- Set the controller to Smoke
- Give the grill around 15 minutes to turn on. The smoke should turn from thick white to a thin and slightly blue plume.
- Set the grill to the highest possible temperature and let it run for 30 minutes. Once it attains the temperature
- After this, you can start using the grill normally or go on to the shutdown cycle if you are not ready to start grilling.
The shutdown procedure takes up to 25 minutes, and you will still have to turn off the grill at the power switch.
What if My Grill Doesn’t Have the Smoker Mode?
Some Traegers like the Pro 780 don’t have a smoker, so you can’t go into smoker mode and look out for the thin bluish smoke to tell you when the grill is fully on.
In this case, you must wait until the thermometer indicates the correct temperature before moving on to the next step. The temperature should pick up steadily once the grill is primed and ready for a higher temperature setting.
Further Grill Master Seasoning Steps
Even though Traeger says the initial burn is good enough to season your grill, grill masters worldwide know that some extra seasoning steps go a long way in keeping the cooking surface smoother and protecting the grill from rust.
Here are some further steps you can take to protect your grill better.
Apply a Layer of Your Favorite Cooking Oil
While any cooking oil will do for this step, we prefer high smoking point oils like Avocado oil and Grapeseed oil. We will take the seasoning procedure you would take when using cast iron utensils for the first time or restoring them.
- Wait until the Traeger grill cools down from the initial burn procedure you implemented above.
- Warning.. keep the oil application controlled by using a clean rug dipped in oil. You don’t want the oil dripping onto unwanted surfaces.
- Apply a very thin layer of the oil onto the Traeger grill lid interior, large metal interior panels on the main cooking chamber, and the racks. Keep the oil off the outside surface of the grill, the auger, the fire pot, and the hopper.
- Turn on the grill and repeat the seasoning steps we went through earlier. Skip the auger priming steps as the auger is already primed – unless the hopper is empty because you used all the pellets during the initial burn
- Add some pellets to the grill so that you have enough for around 30 minutes of seasoning.
A single pound of hardwood pellets should last around 20 minutes when burning the grill at maximum temperature.
Always use the shutdown cycle once you are done using the grill. This cycle burns off the remaining smoldering pellets in the firepot, cleaning and preparing the grill for your next use.
Cook Some Fatty Meat
Another good but not mandatory step when seasoning your grill is smoking or grilling some fatty meat cuts for the first time.
Check this too: Pit Boss Pellet Grill How-to and Troubleshooting Guide
You can go for bacon or fatty pieces of beef and pork. The fats and juices from the meat will play a crucial role in adding the oils you need to season the metal surfaces of the grill while adding a unique flavor and character to your future grilling experience.
How Often Should You Season a Traeger Grill
Seasoning the grill again is often unnecessary – unless you subjected your grill to conditions that can dirty it or make it loose the very first seasoning. These include:
- Storing it for long in a damp place such that it grows mold
- Power cleaning it using water (which you shouldn’t unless it is necessary)
- Taking on an abandoned Traeger grill
ProTip: Performing a cleaning burn (running the grill at max temperature or 450F) is a great way to clean your grill without putting any water in it.
If your grill was in storage for a long time and has mold, food residue, and nasty gunk, burning it very hot for around 20 should burn off the residue. You can use a wooden scrapper to rub off remaining solids from the grates but never water.
There is no fixed rule on if you should season your grill again or not. However, if it is ever abandoned or seems in a nasty condition, re-seasoning it can be a great way to give it a new start.